Weekly report of a young feminist #24: I would like to share a list of three books which I finished this month. I guess I had a good hand while choosing them because the following lists is composed of truly enriching reads. And perhaps some of them will make it to your reading list as well. If you live in Prague, feel free to ask for any of them, I’m happy to share.
The Gendered Brain by Gina Rippon
“The new neuroscience that shatters the myth of the female brain”
Although I got quite bored by this book, I think it’s very well written and informative. I know that saying that a book is boring right at the beginning isn’t the best start of the recommendation, however I just think this field isn’t for me. Gina Rippon is an English professor and neuroscientist who has the gift to explain medical terms in a way that also a normal human being is able to get the point.
Throughout the book, she elaborates on the hypothesis that male and female brain isn’t in fact different. She includes studies conducted by experts which support her primary thought so eventually, the reader becomes aware of how the brain actually functions. Moreover, you learn that many popular statements such as that women have smaller brains than men or that men are better in map reading and women in talking are simply bullshit. But these instances are just the tip of the iceberg of many information which Gina shares with you. In my opinion, if you are in medical school, interested in neuroscience and a feminist, this book is literally what you ever searched for.
Bez Súhlasu.txt by the collective of authors
This book consisting of seven texts by ten authors deals with sexual violence in Slovakia. It was published very recently and unfortunately only in Slovak language. However, in my opinion it should be translated in other languages since it shares relevant opinions and disturbing experiences which are valuable for any society. So, if you understand Slovak, you’re the lucky one and you should definitely read it.
In recent years, people in Slovakia finally started to talk about sexual violence against women. MeToo movement was almost invisible in our country and any attempt of feminist think tanks to raise awareness around this pressing global issue was quickly dismissed by authorities. Only after a case of Katarína Danová who openly declared that she was violated by her summer camp supervisor for years, these events started to get appropriate attention. I purposefully mention her name here, because the book starts with an essay describing Katarína’s bad experiences with an investigation of her case in Slovakia. Unfortunately, the remaining six essays have similar sorrowful nature. It’s a 168-pages-long reminder of women’s inequal status in any existing society.
Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and Other Lies) by Scarlett Curtis
“Amazing women on what the F-word means to them”
I would categorize this book as a foundational read for young or emerging feminists. Similarly, as the previous book, it’s composed of many long or short essays written by famous and non-famous women. Some of them are funny, some of them dark but all of them are undoubtedly inspirational. Topics which are covered by the authors are crazily wide, however the women’s empowerment and invitation to unity of all women is the component of every text.
My favourite piece is written by Keira Knightley. Even thought she is accompanied by many influential activists in this book, she stole my heart by the purity and honesty of her experience. She described the birth of her baby girl and how difficult, disgusting, and beautiful that act was. I’ve never read such moving approach to a new-born girl. She said that she survived the first battle when she gave birth and that now she has to continue her fight for the better world for her daughter. It was very magical. And I think you might find equally magical thoughts, sayings or ideas in this book which will guide your way to become a proud feminist.